Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning is a key part of the Localism Act, through this the government has enabled local communities to have a direct say in the future of development of the local area.

Neighbourhood planning is a new way to help communities play a greater role in shaping the future of the places where they live and work.

Neighbourhood planning tools:

  • Neighbourhood plans
  • Neighbourhood development orders
  • Community right to build orders

Use the drop down menu below to find out more.

By producing a neighbourhood plan this will allow the community to set our the vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area, providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development they would like to see within their parish or neighbourhood area.

Neighbourhood planning should focus on guiding development rather than preventing it

Once a neighbourhood plan has been 'made' and adopted by the Local Planning Authority it will become part of the local development framework and used in the decision-making process of planning applications within the area. 

Key principles of a neighbourhood plan:

  • Community initiated - led by the parish / town council or a designated neighbourhood forum in non-parished areas;
  • Must be in general conformity with national and local planning policies and EU Laws;
  • Must be realistic; and
  • Must be based on evidence & agreed through consultations with the community

Where there is a parish/town council in place they should initiate and lead the process and a designated neighbourhood forum should initiate and lead the process in non-parished areas. 

The parish / town council or designated neighbourhood forum should however enlist hep from members of the local community, below is a list of stakeholder that should be sought to be involved:

  • Local residents;
  • Local businesses;
  • Community organisations;
  • Elected representatives;
  • Local land owners; and
  • Developers
  • What are the key issues and aspirations of your local area?
  • Is a neighbourhood plan the right tool to address the aspirations and resolve the issues?
  • What resources are available to shape the future of your community?
  • How would you identify a neighbourhood area?
  • The community takes responsibility for deciding its future
  • The community gains a greater understanding of the issues it faces and the practicalities of addressing them.
  • Part of the Amber Valley local development framework
  • Sense of community and create a sense of pride
  • Brings the community together to tackle local issues
  • You will have to tackle difficult issues
  • Very resource intensive, requires considerable commitment / volunteers time, energy and staying power.
  • Frustrating if not achieving ambitious expectations
  • Could be divisive not everyone will be happy with the outcomes.

Planning Aid England has produced a suite of resources to assist those developing a neighbourhood plan. The resources provide practical tips and advice on various stages of the neighbourhood plan process from designating the neighbourhood area to submitting the plan for examination, and are designed for community groups to use. Visit their website at

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has made funding available to provide support and grants to those who are developing a neighbourhood plan.

DCLG offer two different types of support to help you write your neighbourhood plan or prepare a neighbourhood development order:

  • Technical support
  • Neighbourhood planning grant  

All groups writing a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order will be eligible to apply for up to £8,000 in grant. Groups facing more complex issues can apply for specific packages or technical support where needed, and may also be eligible for further £6,000 in grant.

For further details please visit the My Community website.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841584 or email